Looking for a pair of premium over-ear headphones? Monster just released their second version of their DNA Pro lineup. The Monster DNA Pro 2.0 Over-ear Headphones come in one of three premium finishes and seriously rock. They’re tuned with “Pure Monster Sound” for a full range experience. Download their app and you can tune them to your liking. Their unique design boasts passive noise isolation and all-day comfort.
Monster’s DNA design is one-of-a-kind, and they do a fabulous job of keeping the whole lineup on brand. These Pro 2.0s are the largest in the lineup with the best build and finish. DNA’s all sport the similar triangular design. The earcups are triangular too, but they’re tall with rounded corners. The ear cushions are pillow-soft and will fit around the largest ears.
The Pros have a tri-folding design making the headphones very portable for their size. When folded up, they’re considerably safer for packing and travel. They even come with a protective soft pouch for storage and travel.
The DNA Pro 2.0s have a removable headphone cable. The cable can actually plug into either side of the headphones, for convenience. Nicely, the unused headphone port on the Pros can be used to share your music with a friend. Monster calls this MusicShare, you can simply plug in another pair of headphones into DNAs and you have two pairs of headphones listening to the same source. The cable is flat and tangle resistant. There’s an inline ControlTalk, complete with volume controls and a microphone. The ControlTalk allows you to control music, phone calls, and voice activation. The microphone is just as good, if not better, than Apple’s headphone mic for making and taking phone calls. Monster includes a 3.5mm to 1/4″ adapter and a second cable that’s longer and coiled.
One of the most important factors for a pair of headphones to excel is fit. These Monsters will provide a solid fit and great seal for just about anyone. Monster calls this passive noise isolation, meaning it blocks audio leakage without a battery. With less music leaking out and less noise sneaking in, you’re left to truly enjoy your music. As for comfort, not everyone is going to agree with all-day comfort, but you can get a couple hours before the pressure on your head kicks in.
The Monster DNA Pro 2.0s sound awesome! They rock a full bodied audio experience that can get really bassy. The downside to most headphones in this class is they’re tuned very specifically. Beats, for example, are tuned mainly for hiphop and bass-heavy music. The DNAs are a little more neutrally balanced. They’re very kind to all the genres. For those looking for a specific sound signature, just fire up the Pure Monster Sound app and tune your music to any genre or signature your prefer. Unfortunately, the tuning doesn’t save on your headphones and only works in-app with iPod music. It did, however, make me realize how much I like the default experience. The bass gets heavy and punchy without overwhelming the music. It’s perfectly complemented with crystal clear mids and crisp highs. Monster recommends an 8-20 hour break-in, which always helps. The difference wasn’t so noticeable.
The Pure Monster Experience App has a lot of potential, but falls a bit short. The app acts as your music player, but only plays music from your iPod app. It doesn’t support third party music like Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio. That said, in just a couple taps you can change the sound profile to one of many. You’ll immediately hear the difference. You can tune the music to different genres or artists. There’s also a signature DNA profile and a studio profile. It’s unclear if choosing an artist profile tunes it to their liking or tunes it to best fit their music. Some artists have more than one setting, for instance there’s Drake 1, Drake 2, and Drake 3. There’s no way to set a custom profile and adjust bass or treble, unfortunately. The audio profiles are fun and can highlight aspects of music that you like most. That said, having played with most of the settings, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for Monster’s signature setting and default audio experience.
DNA Pro 2.0 is part of Monster’s premium lineup. They’re currently available in matte black, white tuxedo, and carbon fiber. Premium finishes, indeed. If you’re new to the over-ear market, the audio experience will knock your socks off. They’re tuned very well for universal appreciation; you don’t have to like rap, hip hop, or hard rock. The Monster DNA Pro 2.0 Over-ear headphones retail for a pricey $299.95, but can be found for $279.95 depending on the color.
The Good: Sound great, Passive noise isolation, Tangle resistant cord with ControlTalk and microphone, MusicShare, Included carrying pouch, Coiled cord included, Collapsable/portable, Pure Monster Sound app
The Bad: Tuning on Pure Monster Sound app doesn’t persist, App only plays music from iPod app music, Pricey